Neck fusion now

Neck fusion now

Well going on from the steroid injections in my c6/c7 that didn't work I went back to spinal specialist and he said I need surgery to fuse the spine and get rid of spurs and arthritic bone growth and hopefully help with the bad pain I have in my arms and hands and maybe the numbness too. Not sure yet if it will be from the front of my neck or from the back, he is reviewing the MRI and then will let me know. I was a bit stunned and forgot to ask exactly what he is going to do. hahaha I am such an idiot sometimes. I am feeling quite nervous about this and I will have six months or so to contemplate it all before I can get in for the surgery. Thank heavens as I have absolutely no sick leave left and only 4 weeks annual leave, apparently if he does the op in the posterior position I will need 6 weeks off work, I am fingers crossed he can do it from the front of the neck, it will only be 4 weeks, aghhhh I love using all my leave for operations. .

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Radiogirl had one about 2 months ago, from the front, and it seemed to go well. Look up her posts as it might give you courage.... good luck.

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Oh thank Helix I will have a look. Sort of freaking out as they cannot say if it will work or not. Like everything with this disease it is "let's try this and see if it works" hahah

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I was thinking about Radiogirl as well - she's done well after her surgery so far.

And, wow, everything would have to go exactly right for you not to exceed your annual leave, wouldn't it. Yikes.

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Yes and not get any asthma or viruses etc. like this year. Dr said he thinks he will have to operate posterior and it is much more painful and takes longer to recover. I am fingers crossed it is anterior and it will only be about 2 to 4 weeks recovery. I guess I will find out soon.

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Hi Someonesmother! I will pray for you whether it is posterior or anterior. My doctor told me posterior was more painful because of cutting through the muscles. With the anterior method they gently push things out of the way to get to the disks.

I had C4-5 and C5-6. If you are having more disks worked it may be necessary to come from the backside.

I was expecting throat pain as several friends told me to expect it. I even brought several boxes of all natural "Throat Coat Tea"and alternating between warm tea and ice water really helped. If your doctor hasore disks to remove and replace, that may be why he wants to do the posterior way. As your doctor or anesthesiologist the make sure you have pain medicine already working before you wake up. I didn't and I was I agony until we could ahead of the pain. They gave me 8 shots of Morphine in much IV that couldn't touch my pain. It made my face (mostly nose itch like something crazy.). They finally gave me some kind of an antihestimine in my IV, but switched me to Fentanol which worked much better. I got up and walked around the halls and could hardly wait for my hubby to pick me up in the morning!

I AM SO GLAD I HAD IT DONE!! I actually feel safe driving again. Turning in either direction stressed my neck so badly, but I didn't want to miss another entering the same lane as the same time as me.

You will be so glad to get it done. Your mobility will improve so much...which is truly life changing. I still have some minor surgical pain, but really not bad.

I've been off my RA Meds too long. I am having a total knee replacement surgery December 11th. We thought I was going to be able to squeeze another procedure in between the ACF and the TKR, but the timing and available surgical rooms this close to the end of the nixed that. So, now I'm getting ready for my knee replacement, but feel I'm going into the beginning of a flare. Both my hands had Carpal Tunnel Release surgery are repeating multiple trigger fingers. My body can tell I've been of my meds. Prayerfully, I won't trigger a full out flare or have any trouble which would keep me from my upcoming surgery.

When is your surgery scheduled? I'll be praying. Please let us know how you are doing

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Thanks radioGirl. surgeon has talked to me again and said he will do anterior, but may have to go posterior if it doesn't work this time. Yay me.

He is doing disectomy or something like that and fusion on c6/c7 so I am really please about that. I cannot take most pain meds only tramadol and fentanyl if I have to. So pain relief will be interesting. I had rotator cuff surgery and only took tramadol and panadol, same with hysterectomy so hoping it will be the same this time. Not sure when the surgery will be I am on a waiting list so possibly 6 months wait maybe longer who knows.

Hope your total knee reconstruction goes well, I dread the day I have to start doing those things. I think next in line will be my left hip at some stage as there is osteoarthritis in it.

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I hate that we're falling apart. on positive note, we are simply becoming bionic women! ;)

Can I ask why you have trouble with pain meds? I struggle with it, too. Hydrocodone and Ocycodone make my face itch something awful.

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Yes I do feel like that at times hahaha I cannot take any opiates like morphine, endone, any of that family of drugs, or codeine based drugs. I have a lot of chemical reactions and morphine based just make me vomit and vomit and vomit, so I just don't touch any of them because doing that much vomiting after surgery just isn't good. Weirdly I have no issue with tramadol. I also cannot take any muscle relaxants or anything like lyrica or any of those mind screwing drugs. I also have allergy to penicillin and reactions to most antibiotics. Life is fun.

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Someonesmother, It sounds like you and your doctor have the bases covered. Interesting side note to having the Fusion surgery with either a cadaver or synthetic disc with a graft from your bone, you will end up being taller! I had the bone graft taken from my hip and it included bone marrow as well. Ask your doctor about it, you won't be much taller, but I got a chuckle out of knowing it.

Blessings to you!

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Hahahah well he hasn't mentioned anything about that, just said 'we will pop some material in between to hold up the fusion'. Another thing I need to ask about. See you don't know all this before you go in, to see them so have no idea to ask these questions.

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Sorry about the crazy auto correct changes in my comment!

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That's ok you should see mine before I fix them. My hands just don't do what I want them too

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I had an anterior C/spine fusion 21 years ago....but from a car accident not arthritis. It was not painful at all...just inconvenient wearing a surgical collar for three months. But I understand after care has changed a lot, so that possibly doesn't apply now!

I have had no problems at all ....now I do get a bit of an achey neck- but who doesn't at 70+' & it's nothing to stress about,

Good Luck with your surgery.

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I am hoping he can do it anterior, although he said he will probably have to do it posterior due to the issues I have and that it will be very painful and take longer to recover from. I am keeping everything crossed it will be anterior as that sounds lot less invasive and quicker recovery time. He didn't tell me about the collar though, hmmmmm hahahah

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I was playing tennis 6 months after my surgery. Ah memories!

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I talked to him today and he is going to try anterior. Yay doing decompression and fusion

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Yay!!!!

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You'll do fine either way. Sounds like with your other surgeries, this will be a breeze. :)

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I am going in with a positive attitude that I will be back at work in 4 weeks. I have to that is all the leave I have. :)

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Sounds scary. You really do need to digest it. For the surgeon though probably not one of the most difficult ops. I used to calm myself before my shoulder replacement op with the fact that the doc had been doing replacements for 15 years five a day! I imagine you have already gone through all the conservative treatment options? Good luck I'm sure all will go well. Simba

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My son has just had his C5 and 6 replaced with cadaver vertebrae and a titanium cage. It wasn’t arthritis and the rest of his spine above and below were absolutely fine. His arm had quite suddenly gone numb so he had no option but have it done especially as it was beginning to affect his leg too by the time he had it done even though he 9nly waited a few weeks.

His neurologist went in through the front of his neck. I have to say I was really horrified when I heard what was going to happen partly because he was so far away from home, but he was absolutely fine, in fact he called me when he got back to his bed and sent a selfie shortly afterwards.

His operation went amazingly well. He went in on a Monday, had ‘chill out time’ as he called it. Operation next day, then home the day after that. He lives abroad so he stayed with his boss and family for a week then with another friend for another week and I think had a week or at least a few days on his own then went back to work on reduced hours for a few days, then back full time.

He started taking 1000mcg vitamin C about a month before his op and continued with it afterwards, his GP said to him that she was amazed at how fast he healed ( I’m sure she meant for a smoker!) so good luck with it.

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I wish you well and I think someone by the name of Radiogirl had this operation. Please look her up for advice. It's always good to talk to someone who can really understand your situation & fears.

I must say I love your photo of a giraffe looking into a window ...such a perfect photo to go with your post.

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Hahah yes seemed appropriate talking about necks. Yes I have read some of Radiogirl's posts. I feel a lot less anxious after talking to the surgeon today while I filled in the hospital admission papers. Thanks for comment for you

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That's me, unless there's another radiogirl on this forum. I am very happy I had it done.:)

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I had an anterior approach for three levels fused almost two years ago. It is probably the single best result I've ever gotten from surgery. My neck felt one hundred percent better the minute I came out of anesthesia. I had levels C3-C4, C4-C5 and C5-C6 fused. The worst part is the rigid brace that must be worn post surgery to protect your cervical spine until the fusion is healed. Also, as with any fusion, the levels above and below will degrade causing future surgery. Right now I am pre-op for C2-C3. I'm looking forward to getting it over and done with. My advice to you is to have a neurosurgeon operate on you and wear the collar until given the all clear. It's great when your neck doesn't hurt. Your quality of life will certainly improve. Good luck!

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Wow sounds like you have had great results. I have a spinal surgeon who specialises in these, I am only getting c6/c7 decompression/discectomy something and fusion. He did say it may not resolve the pain, but hopefully will fix the numb painful arms and hands. No one has told me about a collar or anything. I guess they give you that news at pre op. hahahaha

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